The Past Is The Future: Colin Powell At The United Nations

Ten years ago yesterday, General Colin Powell delivered compelling evidence to the United Nations about Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. This damning testimony officially brought public sentiment about a war with Iraq to a rolling boil. General Powell’s masterfully-presented thesis about Iraq turns out to have been based on discredited information. Iraq also had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, but those are just details! Regardless of the effect Powell’s presentation had on the international community, the decision had already been made to go after Saddam. His stranglehold on the region was imperiling American access to Persian oil supplies. It’s no surprise that Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Kristol and a motley crew of neocons went looking for an Iraqi connection to the World Trade Center attacks before the dust had even settled. Spoiler Alert! There wasn’t a connection to be found, but nomatter for the Cheneyman. This was a guy who didn’t even win the fucking election and was somehow living in the White House, so you think he was going to let “facts” get in the way of who the United States retaliated against? Hell no…like a boss.


General Powell’s former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson was on Democracy Now! this morning. He has turned quite apologetic about his task of preparing Powell’s UN presentation, calling it the “biggest mistake of my life” or something like that. It’s charming and disgustingly self-effacing all at once. I applaud him for having the nerve to back pedal and even apologize for his role in drumbeating our ongoing war with Iraq. That’s more than 99% of Bush’s former staffers are willing to do, but it really makes you wonder all over again what could have been if the Supreme Court went 5-4 the other way in Bush v. Gore. We will never know.

Keep this in mind next time you hear some loudmouthed talking head extolling the virtues of preemptive war with Iran because, you know, they’re developing weapons of mass destruction…

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